"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

New column: Profiles in Bad-Ass

Friday, December 20th, 2019

Okay, how should I explain this? Here goes.

I have a new bi-weekly column called Profiles in Bad-Ass on the freshly launched websight REBELLER. The first one is up and it’s trying to address something that I’m sure you know is important to me: that everybody knows who Bruce Lee is but many haven’t experienced the joy of actually sitting down and watching his movies.

In future installments I plan to provide similar overviews of the work of icons from different eras of badass cinema, the types of things I’ve written about extensively here, now in a more generalized and concise format to spread the good word to other corners.

I guess it won’t be the audience I thought, because I didn’t realize it would be behind a paywall. You have to sign up and then you can get 3 free articles a month, or pay $20.20 for a year of access to everything. I feel a little weird about that but it makes sense – we’ve seen that the high profile websights that actually pay their writers can’t sustain on popup ads. Also, I once had a somewhat similar column in a print magazine called Clint, and somebody would’ve had to get a much more expensive subscription to read all of those. (read the rest of this shit…)

New essay on Polygon: The brilliance of Wesley Snipes as Blade

Friday, November 29th, 2019

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this to you guys before, but I think Wesley Snipes is really good as the character of “Blade” in the movie BLADE and also the movie BLADE II and even the movie BLADE’S TRINITY. On the occasion of the character’s impending arrival in the MCU (Marvel’s Cinematical Universe), but now played by a different guy, the websight Polygon recruited me to put into words why Wesley’s version will be hard to match.

CLICK THIS FUCKER

Patreon bonus shit: Thanksgiving with The A-Team

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

As a special giving of thank-you to Patreon supporters, I have posted a look at the Thanksgiving-themed season 5 A-Team episode “Family Reunion.” It doesn’t have enough B.A. in it for my tastes, but it does have a random bear attack and an exploding dummy that looks like John Bolton.

As always, thank you for your support that helps me cut down on day job hours and spend more time on writing the good shit. You can donate as little as one buck/clam/bone a month to have access to this and the entire archive of bonus posts, including my glittery reviews of the TWILIGHT saga. Let me know if you’re enjoying these occasional bonus posts and/or what other non-movie-review type extras might be fun.

THE A-TEAM: “FAMILY REUNION”

Patreon bonus: Walker, Texas Ranger Halloween episode

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Sorry, I never get trick-or-treaters at my apartment, so I didn’t get enough candy for everyone. But I do have a Halloween treat for Patreon people: an illustrated look at a 1998 Halloween episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.

click here for WALKER, TEXAS RANGER: “THE CHILDREN OF HALLOWEEN”

Remember, for $1 a month (or more if you can afford it) you can read this as well as other exclusives like my in-depth reviews of each of the TWILIGHT movies, an episode of Rambo: The Force of Freedom, and some extra tie-ins to the HIGHLANDERLAND series. More importantly you get to feel like a hero for helping me to only work part time so I have more hours for writing the good shit (most of which will always be free right here on outlawvern.com).

Thanks everybody!

20th Outlawversary Excellencefest

Friday, October 11th, 2019


Today is, by my best guess, the 20th anniversary of Then Fuck You Jack: The Life + Art of Vern, the humble collection of movie reviews I crudely constructed on the free “home page” platform Geocities way back in the nineteen-god-damn-nineties. What started as a goof transformed, over the course of two decades, into some sort of life’s mission. I’ve learned, had fun, made friends, and written about a shit load of movies. More than 3,000, I’d estimate, because you’re looking at post #3,508 (including columns, blog posts and the posts I used to do to link to the new stuff).

I hope that output earns me the right to be self-indulgent today, because otherwise I’m in trouble! I went back to the beginning to prepare this retrospective, and many of the early ones are embarrassing, but most of them still make me laugh. I think I’ve lost some of that youthful craziness over time (sorry), but I also think I’ve gotten way better, especially around 2015. I’m glad it came that late, because I feel like I’m still growing. Still striving.

I look at everything I wrote and remember all the tragic shit I was going through during some of the later years and I can’t remember how I did it. I guess I was escaping into my work, but also stubbornly clinging to what I wanted to do with my life, even while spending so much of it waiting in hospitals. I probly owe some people some apologies.

But mostly thank yous. Few will make it through this whole post, so I want to do those first. Truly, sincerely, if it weren’t for you (yes – YOU!) I would’ve stopped before I ever got good. So many of you have commented or kept in touch over the years, or you drop me a line and tell me you’ve been reading since Ain’t It Cool, or you just discovered me or whatever. You make me feel like I’m not crazy, there are other people who are passionate about the same silly shit I am, or at least are entertained to read about it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And extra super beyond the call of duty thanks to Jacob Martin for once telling me I should keep writing reviews when I had stopped, to Phil Blankenship and david j. moore for getting me to show my face in public, to Clubside Chris Rowley for a ridiculous amount of work and financial support to create outlawvern.com and keep it online.

I need to emphasize that last one. Chris was there to catch me when Geocities finally shriveled up and died about ten years in. He not only gave me my url, but built this whole archive and everything on here. Before him if I remember right I’d just have a page for each letter of the alphabet, so if I finished the review of BEDEVILLED I’d paste it onto the page with all the movies that start with the letter B. Imagine if I was still doing that! He helps me with all my computer shit, so I know he has a particular set of skills, and I know right now he’s in need of a gig, so if anyone has/knows something for him please get in contact with him – his email is clubside360@hotmail.com.

And finally, thank you to my friends and family, including my parents (who gave me the leeway to decide what I wanted to do with myself even when they didn’t understand it), and most especially the anonymous Mrs. Vern, who has done more for me than words can express. Words is stupid.

I figured 20 years was a big a deal, but I wasn’t sure how to celebrate, besides getting drunk and doing karaoke, which is my plan for tonight. I decided it was a good occasion for self evaluation, so in the last few weeks I went through my entire archive and have compiled a year-by-year look back over important events and favorite writings from my ongoing climb up the holy mountain of excellence.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Patreon bonus: RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

As John J. Rambo may or may not have shed his last blood on cinema screens, perhaps it’s a good time to remember him in all his glory when he had been pardoned by the president and was free to hang out with his pals like Turbo and Touchdown, fighting mostly non-lethal battles with the mercenaries, bikers and cyborgs of the S.A.V.A.G.E. terrorist organization. That’s why I watched and wrote about “First Strike,” the first episode of the 1986 cartoon series Rambo: The Force of Freedom.

MAY THE FORCE OF FREEDOM BE WITH YOU

As always, thanks to everyone who has been able to support the Patreon. That extra monthly check has improved both my life and my writing by allowing me to work fewer shifts of the day job and focus on the good shit here. I hope the quality of the reviews here as well as the bonuses over there like the TWILIGHT series help to express my gratitude.

Patreon bonus shit: Highlander: The Series guest starring Rowdy Roddy Piper

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Thank you again for reading my HIGHLANDERLAND series. It was a thrill to write and share it with you all. I knew it would be wrong for Badass Studies and humanity as a whole to lock such an important topic behind a paywall, but I really owe a debt of gratitude to the Patreon supporters on this one. The predictable monthly extra income from that has allowed me to work one less day a week and that’s truly why I was able to prepare the whole series in advance like I did with the TWILIGHT ones. So if I was going into some aspect of part 5 and realized there was a parallel in part 2, I could go back and mention it earlier. An extra opportunity for excellence-striving.

As a special thank you for that I have one last Patreon-exclusive HIGHLANDERLAND bonus – a review of the second season Highlander: The Series episode “Epitaph For Tommy,” chosen not for its importance as an episode, but for it guest starring Rowdy Roddy Piper.

CLICK HERE TO GET ROWDY

New bonus on Patreon: Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” video, directed by Russell Mulcahy

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying the HIGHLANDER studies so far. On Monday we’ll continue with a look at the pilot of Highlander: The Series, which features Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, reaching through the portal from real movies into syndicated television to hand off the torch. For those who have been asking, no, I’m afraid I’m not able to cover the full six seasons of television, but I look forward to your insights into the rest of it.

It is true that we’ve already covered the two best and most cinematic movies of the franchise, but trust me, there’s plenty more interesting stuff to enjoy and dissect. Before that I’d like to cap off this Russell Mulcahy portion of the programming with some EXCLUSIVE PATREON BONUS SHIT. If you are a current Patreon supporter or want to sign up, you can click the link below for my heavily illustrated look at Mulcahy’s most extravagant Duran Duran video, made two years before HIGHLANDER when he was trying to make a feature film out of a William S. Burroughs novel.

And this is my obligatory occasional post of gratitude to all those who have supported me on Patreon and in other ways. You very directly made it possible for me to work fewer hours at the day job and more at preparing this series, which I’m very proud of and excited to share with you. So I hope this extra post serves as a small thank you and/or enticement for new subscribers. (Reminder: you’ll also get access to my reviews of the entire TWILIGHT series, starring Batman.)

Read about “WILD BOYS” on Patreon!

 

 

R.I.P. John Singleton

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Instead of posting a review today I want to write a little bit about John Singleton, who died yesterday after complications from a stroke.

If you weren’t of age in the early ’90s, I don’t know if you could ever quite understand it, but John Singleton was enormous. A few years earlier Spike Lee had exploded into the pop culture consciousness, a singular voice, a revolution out of New York, making an arty black and white movie on credit cards with a jazz piano score by his dad, then making bigger and better movies with studio backing, showing the promise of a new generation of black filmmakers.

And Singleton, already, was that promise. More than a decade younger than Lee, he made BOYZ N THE HOOD at 23. Practically a kid. As I seem to have mentioned every time I ever wrote about him over the years (see links below), he was nominated for a best director Oscar the first time out, the first black director to do so, and to this day the youngest person. He became an inspiration not just for black directors, but anyone young, outside of the system and wanting to tell a story about where they come from. (read the rest of this shit…)

Happy anniversary to us

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Outlawvern.com administrator Chris Rowley has reminded me that today is the tenth anniversary of the first time I ever posted on this here domain. He’d actually bought it for me the summer before as an act of kindness (or pity?) to get me off the free Geocities sight I’d used since 1999. I turn him down because I thought it was funny and subversive to pour such effort into such a crappy looking websight. When Geocities stopped working (it turned out they were closing up shop) he luckily hadn’t taken offense to my initial rejection and helped me getting things running right away.

I want to thank everyone who has read or commented or supported in any way. But I’m especially thankful to Chris, who has put so much time and money into keeping this place running through technical difficulties and multiple re-designs, who has set up comments, forums, spam blockers and features of his own invention. He’s also working on some new ideas that will be a surprise even to me. His generosity has made my life better, and maybe yours too, so please give him your thanks.

Happy anniversary everybody. Here’s that first post:

R.I.P. www.geocities.com/outawvern